Straight ahead on News 7-- another blow to the textile industry.
200 people in Danville are in danger of losing their jobs.
And, transportation officials have reportedly chosen which company has the winning plan to widen Interstate- 81.
Changes are not that far away as a line of showers is heading our way. What does it mean for our weekend. I'll let you know in yout forecast.
Stay with us News 7 at noon, starts right now.
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Southside textile workers are taking another hit.
The V-F Corporation is selling its V-F Playwear subsidiary.
Two hundred people in Danville could lose their jobs as a result.
Spokesman John Martin says employees were notified Wednesday that the company was sold to Lollytogs.
The announcement of the sale was part of a 60-day notice given to employees before V-F Playwear permanently closes its doors.
Martin says Healthtex will continue to operate until all material for this year's back-to-school product line is complete.
No exact date has been set.
Severance packages will be offered to union and non- union workers at Healthtex.
[GRAPHIC=Interstate 81 Widening]
Published reports says the state transportation commision is set to announce which company will get the contract to widen Interstate 81.
The Richmond Times Dispatch says Star Solutions has been be awarded the project, and the announcement could come as early as this afternoon.
Star Solutions would pay for the 11 BILLION dollar project by placing a toll on trucks.
Its proposal calls for four lanes in each direction, with separate lanes for large trucks.
It is expected to take 15 years to complete.
Neither V-DOT nor Star Solutions is commenting on the report.
Electrical problems are forcing one school to dismiss early this afternoon.
[TAKE SCHOOL TOUCH FULL]
The Mount Rogers school in Grayson County is closing at two today.
That is the Mount Rogers school only. All other Grayson County schools will dismiss on time.
Attorney General John Ashcroft is in a Washington hospital with a severe case of gallstone pancreatitis.
Justice Department officials say the 61- year- old Ashcroft was taken to George Washington University Hospital's emergency room last night after complaining of stomach pains.
A spokesman says Ashcroft originally thought he had stomach flu.
Ashcroft is being treated with antibiotics.
The spokesman says doctors expect to know more about the attorney general's condition within 48 hours.
As mourning continues for Iraqis killed in this week's bombings, the leaders of the country were ready to take a step toward peace and democracy.
They were about to sign a document paving the way for a NEW Iraq, when the unexpected happened.
Charlie D'Agata (DAG- uh- tuh) reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Charlie D'Agata/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=D'Agata, CBS News, Baghdad.]
Right now history is on hold.
Iraq's Governing Council was due to sign the most sweeping democratic
document in the Arab world...until five Shiite members of the
council....said "not so fast."
They are apparently objecting to concessions made to the Kurds...and the
makeup of the presidency.
So the stage is set for the signing... twenty five fountain pens wait on
an antique desk...while revisions are discussed.
The document is intended to lay the foundation for a future
government...crucially, it states that Islam be ONE source of new law,
but not the only source -- as some hardliners had hoped for.
THE CONSTITUTION READS LIKE A BILL OF RIGHTS -- ENSURING THINGS LIKE
FREEDOM OF RELIGION, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, AND THE GUARANTEE THAT THE
RIGHTS OF ALL IRAQIS WILL BE RESPECTED.
BUT A STEP TOWARD DEMOCRACY IS A STEP IN THE WRONG DIRECTION AS FAR AS
THE TERRORISTS ARE CONCERNED, AND COALITION FORCES AND IRAQIS IN GENERAL
ARE BRACING FOR THE BACKLASH.
(BREMER -- EARLY SHOW: )
And as the council members work on revision before putting ink to an
historic paper...Iraqis buried their dead ending a three day mourning
period for the hundreds killed in devestating attacks in Baghdad and
CHARLIE D'AGATA ....CBS NEWS BAGHDAD.
There's no indication as to which way the jury is leaning in the Martha Stewart trial.
However, the judge has told jurors they have enough evidence to convict Stewart's CO- defendant of perjury.
So far, most of the jury's questions have dealt with that charge.
Sharyn Alfonsi has the latest.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-New York, NY;]
[SUPER=01-Sharyn Alfonsi/CBS News;]
[OUT Q=Alfonsi, CBS News, New York.]
Martha heads into court Friday for what could be another agonizing day
of waiting. Eight women and four men sit behind closed doors for a
third day deciding her fate.
Outside the court house hundreds of journalists do somehting they are
not very good at: wait. The only clue to what may be going on inside
the jury room, the occasional notes the jury passes to the judge.
Bridge: Thursday jurors asked to examine the testimony of an SEC
attorney who interviewed Peter Baconovic, Stewart's broker and
Baconovic intitially told investigators that he spoke to Martha the day
she shold her ImClone stock. But he later changed his story and said it
was actually his assistant Douglas Faneuil.
In a note to the judge, the panel inquired about the standards of
evidence required for conviction on a perjury count.
Friday morning they got their answer when the judge ruled that the
evidence against Baconovic meets the high standards for a perjury
conviction. Telling the jury....the testimony of Stewart's assistant and
a telephone message log she kept are enough to indicate that Baconivic
lied....and meet the high standards of evidence and convict a defendant
Legal experts say this doesn't mean a conviction....but it does mean the
jurors are working hard and looking at every issue with the same detail
and thoroughnes. Something Bacanovics co defendant.....Martha stewart is
SA Sig Out
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Coming up after a quick break, a judge decides if a convicted killer is mentally stable enough to be put to death.
Plus, as her accused abductor heads to court, there is still no sign of a missing college student.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #1]
Convicted murderer Percy Levar Walton is psychotic and most likely schizophrenic, but the state can still put him to death.
That was the conclusion of a federal judge last night.
Judge Samuel Wilson says Walton understands what it means to be executed, and that he was sentenced to die for murdering three people.
[TAKE PINNACLE FULL]
In a seven-page opinion entered last night, Judge Wilson writes: "Although Walton is clearly suffering from mental disorder... that does not prevent a state from executing a convicted defendant merely BECAUSE he suffers from mental illness."
The judge expressed annoyance with the state Attorney General's office.
He said the state needed to consider Walton's claim of incompetence "no matter how inconvenient it might be."
Wilson is threatening to bill the Commonwealth for the work of the psychiatrist who testified in the case on Wednesday.
The man accused of kidnapping a North Dakota college student heads to court today for a preliminary hearing.
Convicted rapist Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr. has denied any involvement in the disappearance of Dru Sjodin.
The 22- year- old student was last seen on November 22 after leaving a shopping mall.
Her blood was discovered in Rodriguez' car, and a knife found in his car matched a sheath found near Sjodin's car.
Relatives and friends have searched all winter, but no one's found a trace of the missing woman..
Five years before she died, Princess Diana told her unhappy life story to a biographer on tape.
Now, for the first time, those tapes have been made public.
Mark Phillips reports.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=04-File Tape; ;00]
[SUPER=01-Mark Phillips/CBS News; 1:02]
[SUPER=01-Ken Warfe/Diana's Former Bodyguard; 1:10]
[SUPER=01-Penny Junor/Prince Charles' Biographer; 1:31]
[OUT Q=Phillips, CBS News, London.]
The words -- Diana's version of the sad story of her ill-fated marriage
-- we've seen before. But there is something about hearing them...
spoken by a desparately unhappy woman who sensed her marriage was doomed
even as she walked toward the altar.
(SOT Diana) (COURTESY: NBC)
AS I WALKED UP THE AISLE, I WAS LOOKING FOR HER, SPOTTED CAMILLA, PALE
GREY, PILL BOX HAT...SAW IT ALL TO THIS DAY, YOU KNOW, VIVID MEMORY, AND
I THOUGHT WELL THERE WE ARE, THAT'S THAT'S IT, LET'S HOPE THAT'S ALL
But it wasn't all over with, of course. The spectre, even the physical
presence of Camilla Parker Bowles -- Charles longtime sweatheart --
would dog the marriage to it's destruction.
Diana's secretly recorded tapes are a catalogue of marital misery. How
her husband made her feel inadequate and pushed her down -- she said --
every time whe tried to get up.
How she once threw herself down the stairs while pregnant -- horrifying
the Queen even if Prince Charles, once he know the unborn child was
unharmed, seemed to hardly care.
(Ken and Mark walking)
The tapes -- according to people like Ken Warfe, who were around her at
the time, marked the lowest point in Diana's life.
(SOT Ken Warfe, Diana's former bodyguard)
0417 ITS PRETTY OBVIOUS NOW THAT THE MARRIAGE WAS CRUMBLING FROM DAY
ONE. 12 YEARS ON, DIANA WAS TRYING DESPERATELY TO SAY TO PEOPLE LOOK,
AND THIS ACTUALLY WAS A CRY FOR HELP.
A cry for help that now comes from beyond the grave... not fair, some
think, particularly for the children Diana left behind.
(SOT Penny Junor, Prince Charles' biographer)
35 21 THIS IS AWFUL FOR THEM AND TO HEAR THEIR MOTHER'S VOICE AS WELL,
SOMETHING DEEPLY UNHEALTHY ABOUT THE WHOLE THING. 35 29
Something whose purpose now seems to be to increase TV audiences -- and
sell books. MP CBS News London
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Coming up after the break, we'll see if Leo can make us happy with the weekend forecast.
But first, rescuers head to the coldest spot on earth in an effort to rescue some stranded scientists.
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[TAPE#=04-13 TC 2:14]
The next time you go to fill up your gas tank, you may have to pay before you pump.
More and more gas stations are requiring that to prevent gas drive-offs.
Justin McLeod has more on the problem and one solution that may or may not be working.
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[SUPER=01-Sandeep Reddy/Gas Station Manager; :11]
[SUPER=01-Mike O'Connor/Virginia Petroleum Association; :47]
[OUT Q=JM, News 7]
((((NAT SOUND OF PUMPING GAS))
When you go to gas up, you probably see this sign on the pump.
It clearly says if you don't pay, you could lose your license.
[IN Q=You still have your]
((SANDEEP REDDY/GAS STATION MANAGER: YOU STILL HAVE YOUR SAME OLD CRIMINALS THAT CARRY ON DOING THAT AND IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER TO THEM BUT IT DOES DISCOURAGE PEOPLE FROM DOING IT.))
[OUT Q=FROM DOING IT]
It wasn't always this way for Virginia's 6 thousand gas retailers.
Several years ago, drive offs cost them more than 14 million dollars a year.
[IN Q=We have to end up paying]
((SANDEEP REDDY/GAS STATION MANAGER: WE HAVE TO END UP PAYING IT FROM OUR POCKETS.))
[OUT Q=from out pockets]
It was such a problem the fuel industry worked to toughen Virginia's laws.
Since 2001, violators can face fines up to 100 dollars and may have their driver's license suspended for up to 30 days.
The goal is to reduce gas drive offs.
[IN Q=The number of gas]
((MIKE O'CONNOR/FUEL INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVE: THE NUMBER OF DRIVE-OFFS HAVE DECREASED IN VIRGINIA SINCE THIS BILL BECAME LAW.))
[OUT Q=THIS BILL BECAME LAW]
But O'Conner admits that is anecdotal and there is no way to prove it with certainty.
That's because the Department of Motor Vehicles does not track how many people lose their license for pumping without paying.
Those offenses are grouped together in a general category and add up to several hundred thousand suspensions every year.
Even so, the fuel industry defends the law saying the fear factor alone works since 70-thousand of these stickers have been distributed to gas stations across the state.
[IN Q=Obviously, anybody that's]
((MIKE O'CONNOR/FUEL INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVE: OBVIOUSLY, ANYBODY THAT'S DRIVING NEEDS TO HAVE THAT LICENSE AND WE THINK THE PUBLIC EDUCATION ASPECT IS REALLY IMPORTANT.))
[OUT Q=ASPECT IS REALLY IMPORANT]
[IN Q=The next question]
((JUSTIN McLEOD/REPORTING: THE NEXT QUESTION IS HOW MUCH OF A PROBLEM IS GAS DRIVE OFFS THESE DAYS. THAT'S ALSO HARD TO TELL. LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ON THE STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL LIST THESE IN A GENERAL CATEGORY WITH OTHER OFFENSES MAKING IT NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO TELL WHETHER THE GAS N GO LAW IS ACTUALLY WORKING. JUSTIN McLEOD, NEWS 7.))))
A dozen scientists are stranded in one of the coldest spots in the world--
Today Russian rescuers flew to the Arctic to search for the group that's been stuck for two days on a large piece of drifting ice.
That, after a massive ice wall collapsed on their research base Wednesday.
It's located in a highly remote area, where limited sunshine only hits a few hours a day.
Meanwhile, crews are also planning to use a nuclear- powered ice breaker in the search effort.
On Wall Street at Noon, the DOW was DOWN 17 points. The NASDAQ has lost nine.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Up next in sports, Liberty is gearing up to make a trip to the Big South finals.
And the Express took on Columbia last night at the Round House.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
The Roanoke Express was in the Roundhouse last night going against the top team in the Southeast division - Columbia.
Roanoke came into the game 5 points out of the final Southeast division playoff spot.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/Inferno vs. Express;]
The National Anthem was performed by the Glenvar High School choral ensemble.
This one was scoreless through the first period.
But in the middle of the second period, the Inferno's Eric Labelle would score.
The Express would answer back with two straight goals in
the same period.
Roanoke goes on to win it 4 to 2.
Off the ice yesterday, team general manager Chris Pollock met with Roanoke Civic Center director Mina Boyd for 90 minutes.
Pollock says the two sides have agreed on most issues, but are still ironing out some details.
He says a new agreement could be in place in two weeks.
The Liberty University men have advanced to the championship of the Big South tournament.
[SUPER=03-Lynchburg/Big South Network-WDRL; :00]
Last night the Flames overcame an inspired effort by Coastal Carolina, and in particular Brandon Newby, to beat the Chanticleers 88 to 73.
The difference for L0U was the play of freshman Larry Blair.
The Big South freshman of the year scored a team high of 23 points.
Liberty will now host High Point tomorrow at 2pm at the Vines Center for the Big South title and an invitation to the NCAA tournament.
One week from now, the 51st ACC Tournament will be well underway at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Two decades ago, the Maryland Terrapins won their one and only ACC Tournament title in that same building.
Travis Wells takes us on a stroll down memory lane with the '84 Terps.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Greensboro, NC/March 11, 1984; :00]
[SUPER=01-Charles "Lefty" Driesell/Maryland Head Coach; :26]
[SUPER=01-Ron Bradley/Driesell Assistant in 1984; :57]
[SUPER=01-Jeff Adkins/Scored 7 Points in 1984 ACC Title Game; 1:33]
[SUPER=01-Chuck Driesell/Georgetown Assistant Coach; 1:38]
[OUT Q=ACC Connection."][Quickcast]
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